Telling Your Inner Critic to SHUT UP!

Good morning, friends!
Something I have been thinking about lately is the thought of the “inner critic.” You know, that voice in your head that tries to compare you to others, or compare current situations to past experiences. Have you ever heard the saying, Comparison is the thief of joy? It is so true! I battle back and forth with my inner critic. As women (and I know men can attest to this too), we are often times overly critical of ourselves. I am guilty of looking at pictures of myself in 2015 during competition prep and thinking that I have failed myself, simply because I no longer look like that. Sometimes I feel as if I am not working out hard enough, not eating healthy enough, not doing enough cardio, not doing as much strength training as I should. However, at the end of the day – I can only try to make myself happy. Yes, I love to make others happy too, but I am learning that you can truly only count on yourself to turn things around. In a funk? Look inside to fix the problem instead of searching for outside sources to bring you happiness. Don’t get me wrong. I love me some retail therapy just as much as the next girl, but if you manifest positive feelings and a positive attitude, you are bound to reap the benefits. You have to be happy with yourself, too, not just extend kindness to others and not showing yourself any lovin’!
Of course, it can be extremely hard to get your inner critic to shut up. One trick to try is that as soon as you start to have those thoughts creep into your mind, make a conscious effort to shift gears and immediately think of a positive thing to replace it with. For example, if you look in the mirror and think, man my legs look fat in these jeans (don’t tell me you haven’t thought that – I feel you! It sucks! Whatever!) Turn it around and think of a reason why your legs are FREAKIN’ AWESOME! “My legs are strong and have powered me through 17 half marathons.”
Simply turning a negative thought into a positive thought can do wonders for your outlook on yourself. Next time your inner critic has something rude to say, shut it up by sneaking in a positive, self-loving thought.
Easier said than done, of course, but I promise you it is worth it if you try it out! Why flood your brain with negative vibes anyway, right? Happiness is a choice, and though curve balls are thrown our way in life, having a positive outlook and honoring yourself will help you turn your mood and perspective around.
Every day we wake up with a fresh new day ahead of us. How we spend it has a huge impact on our mood, yes, but so does how we start our day. When I start the day dreading my work, dreading my work out, dreading the thought of even THINKING of dinner plans – you’re damn right I’m going to have a crappy day, because I have already set off on the wrong foot. On the other hand, when I wake up in the morning feeling grateful, I am more likely to enjoy my day. Seriously. Lay there in bed and think about three reasons why you are thankful for your life (other than the fact that you are alive and breathing and that alone is something to be thankful for). A similar exercise would be looking at yourself in the mirror and listing things that you love about yourself. My dimples, my eyes, my messy I-don’t-care hair. Like I said before, we have to look inside ourselves to find the will to turn our day, our mood, our life around. Searching outside for things to fulfill us has the potential to be dangerous (think addiction, self sabotage, etc), and your intuition already knows the solution. Your body and mind are smart, so listen to them accordingly!
Whew! So that was a mouthful. I hope you found it somewhat helpful to read. I know a lot of people struggle with telling their inner critic to shut up, and you know what? It’s normal, I think! There are things you can do to make life a bit easier for yourself, but of course if you feel like you are in need of more help, don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional : ) Chat soon!

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